Monday, November 23, 2009

Reflections From Last Week's OVP Summit -- I Like Where We Uniquely Stand

Last week, several of us from Sorenson Media attended the Streaming Media West Conference/Online Video Platform (OVP) Summit -- was a great show.

There literally were 20 or so video platform providers in attendance. But, do any of us really think all (or even most) will survive even one year? Highly unlikely, given that virtually none of these companies have generated any meaningful revenues or profits of any kind. And, virtually none of these have any differentiated approach and simply treat video management/hosting as a commodity.

This all bolstered my confidence even further that Sorenson 360 -- our "Video Delivery Network" (which re-imagines video publishing) -- is uniquely positioned ... positioned to be a long-term winner. Think about it -- who else can say the following?

(1) We don't treat encoding as a commodity! We alone place video encoding at the forefront of our video solutions, because video encoding is absolutely critical to producing the highest quality video -- that video quality is lost at the encoding phase if not done right (and only we do it "right" via client-side encoding and all the power and control that comes with it). THIS is our bread and butter -- we are, and have been, THE video encoding specialists and gold standard for years. As an exclamation point on this point, we won the prestigious Streaming Media "Readers' Choice" award at the conference for the third straight year for "Best Video Encoding Application."

Not surprisingly, the competition understands their significant Achilles Heal here with respect to video encoding -- they simply cannot compete in terms of video quality. So, what do they do? Instead of offering their own real technology, they instead are now attempting to use smoke and mirrors to manufacture a quality encoding story. But, look past the smoke and see what is really going on -- they are using free open source encoding solutions (Ffmeg). No matter how you slice it, Ffmpeg is Ffmeg! Even if they now enable the user to "tweak" Ffmeg settings, it is still Ffmeg! It is a free solution with no proprietary technology by the OVP whatsoever. And, this is what the other guys are using (just ask them). Bigger files do not solve the problem ... just compare video quality -- no one ... no one ... can compete with Sorenson. And, at the end of the day, in the words of one of our 360 customers, "Quality is Credibility" for your business;

(2) We alone -- and this is critical -- offer a total video workflow solution. All other services ignore the fact that the video professional's workflow begins well before the video publishing phase -- it begins at the creative process (story boarding, etc.); then video capture; then editing, then encoding; and only then -- publishing and beyond. Our total workflow solution offers choice as well -- either (a) seamless integration of Sorenson Squeeze with 360; or (b) 360 alone (via our one-of-a-kind innovative client side encoding engine in the browser); all the others begin when half the workflow is done;

(3) we have been innovating in video for nearly 15 years (no one else comes close) ... one of the name presenters at the show, in fact, followed us up by saying "we've been around only a couple of years";

(4) we have been profitable for a number of years (no one else can say that) -- we are a stand-alone company with a very healthy balance sheet and in no need of VC cash (virtually all other companies in our space are in need of cash infusions); we have multiple revenue streams and are not a "one trick pony" like all the others (we have codec licensing, Squeeze licensing, and our 360 service); this really does matter, since you, the business/video professional are entrusting your prized video assets with a service and you need to know that that service will be here in the future;

(5) we have a brand/reputation for quality -- that's why we won the Streaming Media "Readers' Choice" award for the third straight year last week; and

(6) we already have hundreds of thousands of users -- not hundreds of users! How? Because we have been doing this for a long long time and video professionals and businesses have used our products/services for years (all the way from the solo video professional to the biggest media companies in the world). Our products work together -- seamlessly -- and uniquely powerfully.

I left the Streaming Media Conference/OVP Summit smiling ... not because of cockiness ... but rather confidence. Confidence in our proprietary differentiated technology. Confidence in our uniquely experienced team. Confidence in our uniquely powerful brand and reputation for quality and innovation; And, confidence in our uniquely differentiated "total workflow solution" approach and understanding of the needs of video professionals and businesses.

A good feeling indeed as we break soon for Thanksgiving ...